Small businesses are the heroes of job creation and the core of a community’s economic vitality. But on average, they pay about 18% more for the same health insurance. And here in Illinois, small business owners have struggled for years with unpredictable and unreasonable premium increases.
Now, close to 200,000 small Illinois businesses may be eligible under the Affordable Care Act for tax credits to help them provide employer-sponsored coverage. And a new marketplace – the Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP – offers group plans geared to the needs of small business owners and non-profits.
Materials from the Small Business Health Collaborative will help you get the information about these changes that you need to make smart choices for your company and your employees.
- What is the SHOP?
- Checklist for Working with an Independent Broker
- How to Notify Employees of the Health Insurance Marketplace
- You Could Qualify for the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit
- Tax Considerations for Employer Group Health Insurance
- How to Buy a SHOP Qualified Health Plan in Illinois
- Small Business and the Affordable Care Act Survey
Use this tool from Healthcare.gov to calculate your tax credit – More details
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Yes. A person with SHOP coverage is the viewed the same as a person with an employer group health plan. The same enrollment rules apply. People must enroll in Medicare Part B within 8 months of retirement or their SHOP coverage ending, whatever comes first. This question and answer from Healthcare.gov addresses concerns Medicare beneficiaries may have about the marketplace.
If less than 70% of your full-time employees do not enroll in the plan, your small business will not qualify for the SHOP. To calculate your employee percentage, divide the number choosing to enroll by the number of eligible employees. The pool of eligible employees should not include individuals who have coverage through another job, another person’s job, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Veteran’s Administration healthcare, or the Indian Health Service. The pool of eligible employees should include those who have private coverage, including plans purchased through the health insurance marketplace. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a helpful fact sheet addressing questions on this issue.
RESOURCES FOR YOU
Getting Ready for Tax Day
This January 2016 blog post from the HealthCare.gov CEO lays out what consumers should expect in the second tax-filing season under the ACA. The post details processes for consumers with Marketplace insurance; consumers with Medicaid, Medicare or employer-sponsored insurance; and for those without coverage.
This January 2016 news article from CBS News describes the three tax forms, the 1095-A, 1095-B and 1095-C that will be used by the IRS to collect information on health insurance coverage.
Young, Invincible…and Insured!
This November 2015 article from Kaiser Health News reviews five things that the uninsured ages 18-31 should consider when getting health coverage in Open Enrollment number three. The article addresses common reasons that a young adult would not buy health insurance.
5 Pointers for Marketplace Shoppers
This October 2015 explainer from the Commonwealth Fund shares tips for consumers to consider when exploring their health coverage options during Open Enrollment number three.
The Small Business Health Collaborative is powered by Health & Disability Advocates in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care, and the Small Business Majority. The collaborative was made possible by generous support from the Michael Reese Health Trust. The collaborative also appreciates the active participation of the Chicago Small Business Assistance Centers and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.